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Pulisic, Dest, Cremaschi headline USMNT roster for September friendlies


The U.S. men’s national team takes the field this September for the start of its second spell under head coach Gregg Berhalter and several leading stars have been included for friendlies against Uzbekistan and Oman.

Christian Pulisic, Sergino Dest, and Folarin Balogun headlined Berhalter’s 24-player roster for upcoming matches on Sept. 9 and 12. First-time call-ups were also given to Inter Miami’s Benjamin Cremaschi and Palermo’s Kristoffer Lund, who join several veteran players in the squad.

The USMNT will begin its September camp on the 3rd in St. Louis, Missouri.

“We have a long-term strategic approach, with two of the principles being strong rosters and maintaining continuity,” Berhalter said. “We are thrilled to have a number of core players in this group while also being able to introduce some new faces to the senior team. Uzbekistan and Oman are types of teams we could face in the World Cup, so it’s an important opportunity to gain that experience.”

Pulisic and Dest were among several European-based players to make club moves this summer ahead of USMNT involvement. Timothy Weah, Malik Tillman, Brenden Aaronson, Yunus Musah, Matt Turner, and Ricardo Pepi also made moves in their respective club careers.

Cremaschi has made three appearances for the U.S. Under-19 men’s national team, but is also eligible to represent Argentina. Lund, who past represented several of Denmark’s youth national teams, has applied to FIFA for a one-time change of association in order to play for the USMNT.

Oman is ranked No. 73 in the FIFA Men’s Rankings while Uzbekistan is one place behind them in the No. 74 spot.

Here is the full USMNT roster for September’s pair of friendlies:

GOALKEEPERS: Drake Callender (Inter Miami; 0/0), Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 8/0), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 32/0)

DEFENDERS: Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 26/2), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 11/0), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; 0/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 51/1), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 10/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 36/2), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 25/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 6/0)

MIDFIELDERS: Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 7/0), Ben Cremaschi (Inter Miami; 0/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 16/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 44/11), Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA; 27/0), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 4/0)

FORWARDS: Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 32/7), Folarin Balogun (Arsenal/ENG; 2/1), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/1), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 16/7), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/ITA; 60/25), Tim Weah (Juventus/ITA; 31/4)


  1. Credit where it is due. I’ll admit to coming into this announcement bracing myself. for some dead-wood.

    With all considerations I have zeeeero complaints about this roster. I know absolutely nothing about Lund, but like the principle of using this window to try new options for our thin LB pool.

  2. Tim Ream has always been slow. The things players lose as they age is speed and the ability to quickly recover from injuries. Ream has no speed to lose so it is hard to think his age will matter in that regard. He has also been pretty remarkably injury free so recovery time does not seem to be an issue. He was our best CB. at Qatar and prob a ly is right now as well, being a couple years older by Copa America is just not that big a deal.

    • Definitely agree with that. As long as Ream keeps playing the way he’s playing, he’s going to be hard to dislodge. Also, every time I see a really good left-footed passer playing the left CB position, I’m also reminded what a difference it makes…the ball just sort of flows across the back when everybody’s got the proper footedness and the guy can just open up and keep the ball going on its way, often with just one touch, and Ream’s ability to put the long splitting ball in can bypass lines and send an attack going.

  3. not 100% sure it’s true but i have seen social media saying reyna’s summer knock was a broken bone and not a calf muscle issue. if he just started training and broke a bone it could be weeks for game fitness.

  4. Might be some changes. Both De La Torre and Cardoso picked up injuries. This is an interesting roster.

    Paredes listed as a defender? Yet again played LWB for half a season with DC United. Has been solely an attacker for most of his career and now with Wolfsburg.

    Maybe potential formation change?

      • Very rare to call in a replacement from Europe if matches are in US. But since this isn’t a Sunday injury don’t know until Monday kind of thing. What about your guy Noel Buck, I haven’t watched NE in awhile.

      • you’re acting like it’s hudson and we’re releasing a list monday who camp the next day and play in a week. a fait accompli, essentially. this is hard. in reality, we are releasing the list a week before camp even starts. i see it as shoddy to have known injured players listed. but fixing it is as simple as changing the names on the plane tickets and such. phone call to confirm participation. few hours rangling the logistics. we have a week to complete those few hours.

        i also feel like there is a memory hole or something. before now we would have avoided calling hurt people, unless it was the world cup and worth the risk, and we routinely swapped people. sometimes between games 1 and 2. “blah blah was released and replaced with dude.”

        you’re also kind of finessing the question by saying last minute choices were usually domestic, but that’s when the game is in 3 days. by saying it’s often domestic you’re actually saying we have done it before just sometimes within constraints. most of these players will have league games over the weekend and at this point we’re talking travel agent work. i am not asking an unprepared london resident to gather passport and a bag and hop on an overnight plane tonight. i am saying do you want to hop a plane and come here in 5 days. this is not daunting. i am sure even ones with families or fairly far east would be willing. “send me the ticket.” and the idea is to cope only if we “have” to.

      • Tessmann scored a game-winning PK yesterday with Venezia from at least 30 yards out. I’d definitely like to see if he’s ready to contribute.

    • i don’t see it. i see a roughly even set of CB and FB, maybe one more FB, a few 6/8 type mids, and Fs designed to play 3 sets of slots, 2 strikers, 4 wings. if you want 352 or 343 then you call 5-6 CBs, but we have 4, which is 1 sub or contingency for 2 games. 352 shrinks it down to 2 dedicated wide players which makes the wing forwards and wing backs redundant. i do think dest and paredes could play higher up and aaronson further back but the allocations do not seem to assume this, ie, they aren’t out of whack and only make sense if the listed positions are wrong.

      it does look like GB has musah at 6 and intended johnny as his backup. he doesn’t have one of his passing 6s listed nor is adams healthy or acosta back. so he needs another 6.

      maybe GB intends to play more down the wings like this summer but a telling absence is of anything that looks like a 10.

      sorry but to me this looks very familiar. i am half curious if one of the wingbacks has a knock which might explain that over-allocation. but then don’t call them?

    • I think Greg intimated that the team would use a 3 back system at some point to give the team more flexibility, and to also placate more to the players strengths

      • the team’s true strengths are wide play and the keeper at this point. we’re calling CB a strength after holland? after all the injuries and related uncertainty (i like miles and richards but are they still playing like themselves)? when we’re still calling ream and mckenzie? i don’t see it. i have seen 3 back formations as graduate school once you’ve earned a shutout bachelor’s. we are not there.

  5. Why Tim Ream again? You know he won’t be there in 2026. While CCV is injured, there must be some other CB’s who are on the margins who should be checked out.

    • if we are going to call intended starers, i am pro longtermism. i think richards and miles before the WC looked like the future. but miles got hurt and hasn’t yet looked the same. but let’s run with that and hope he works the kinks out. i know CCV is out hurt and maybe trusty has been left off to bed in his new team.
      so my guess is mckenzie is the replacement. is mckenzie really the next man up after them? i don’t buy it. EPB is good (is everyone being left off to bed in with their clubs?). rogers is serviceable. if GB thinks he’s next in line he’s stuck back years ago. along similar lines, ream as either a starter or a 3rd choice back is soon to be the past, and is horrible planning for the future. i also just generally feel that with the uncertainty on richards and miles in general, that backwards looking old comfy shoe is not the right response.

      to get more pointed, we seem to have a lot of players moving around because of bad career ideas, and i feel like every summer and september it hurts us. people act like it’s no consequence or what their careers need but how many times are we calling in suboptimal choices because someone needs to bed in someplace. setting aside soccer assessments, 3 of the 4 called CBs have been in the same team for several years. they are then available whenever we want them. we pretend like the musical chairs is harmless but it slowed down richards’ entry into the team.

      you can then see a related phenomenon in spades at striker where balogun aside, we seem to cycle between the perceived hot striker of the month, which changes based on who made the smartest career move that window. if they then make a dumb next choice we rotate again. one can see where this isn’t entirely a soccer assessment.

      side point but isn’t balogun now with a new team? because my response would be he can take a window off and bed in — he looked fine — but the CB need to show up if they want the darned job.

    • Gary, there is Copa America in 2024. You don’t pick your team for the world cup three years in advance. You don’t even pick your team for the Copa a year in advance. Why would you call someone in that is less deserving? There are reasons like travel, recovery from injury, but age certainly wouldn’t be one of my reasons and apparently not one of Gregg’s either. There are many things to complain about GGG but failing to discriminate on the basis of age, which by the way, I am pretty sure is illegal, seems to be looking for thing to complain about to about.

      • Lund is interesting. Only just transferred to Palermo and was already in the starting 11 for a 3-1 win over Reggiana. 73 pretty active minutes. Looks like he’ll play.

      • These two games are about as meaningless as any national team games can be. Playing teams that are #74 and 75 in the rankings with no tournament even close in the radar. If there is a time to check out different players, this is it. Now, I can understand wanting to bring in some established players to keep the group playing together, but we really need to find a replacement for Ream and it is better to start when the games don’t mean anything. Nothing is gained by playing Ream. Nothing is gained, as in nothing.

      • Tele: all due respect but a smart team is actually looking 3 (usually 4) years down the road. sarachan left mike bradley off until october of his year and he got 2 total caps that year. zardes played 3 times in 2018 and 1 was january camp. their age risks were evident and sarachan anticipated what in fact happened, that they fell off on performance and needed replacement. GB then tried real hard to build them back in the team only to have to yank them back out and they never played WCQ. i consider that a waste.

        i feel like that’s the far smarter way to go about it than building ream in. you can always do what GB did on ream which is dial the bat phone at the end if we have an issue. by leaving re-integration to the end, the team is not built around old foundations, and we can scout the older players to monitor whether they still “have it.”

        having shoved aside bradley we made room for adams and musah to come in. having shoved aside zardes (and jozy) we made room for the improvement of pefok/ wright/ pepi/ ferreira. and if richards and miles had held together health wise that would have been the swap for ream as CB. i see all that as positive. i think we do better chasing the front side of donovan and beasley’s career than the back end of reyna and lewis.

        coming at it a different way, if you’re familiar with NCAA approaches, most teams pasture their seniors for spring soccer. they may be welcome at kickarounds, or still with the group for player-organized off-campus league squads/indoor. there may be alumni games including against the varsity team. but you are not playing with the varsity anymore because spring is prep for regular season play that fall. they are not wasting time on graduates and shoving out next year’s actual team to do so. think of it like that. the coach may think it makes the team more stable or likely to win that day but it doesn’t help the team be ready when the world cup arrives in 3 years. 3 years is a tough bet on an O-30. if they are still healthy and eligible we can always consider it later on. but as a use of finite practice and games now it’s a waste.

      • As for Sarachan:
        Bradley was getting booed by US fans in the fall of 2017 and into MLS season in 2018. I don’t know if that played into it at all but running your captain out to get booed all match at home would have been a terrible look. Sarachan chose to give a lot of MB90 minutes to Wil Trapp and playing Tyler as an 8 though so….
        As for Zardes he’d spent 2017 struggling at LAG and had his resurgence for The Crew in 2018 so waiting to call him up later was prudent to see if his form was real. Also neither Zardes, Altidore or Bradley were regular starters in the EPL at the time being praised by Pep probably made it easier to snub.

      • IV: as for your NCAA analogy, isn’t there no official competition in the spring. No national championship or conference championship. So duh why would you play seniors who can never play a competitive match again. That’s not the same as playing Ream who theoretically could play in 2026 (probably unlikely) or at least next summer in Copa or as an overage player in Olympics.

    • ” You know he won’t be there in 2026.”

      No one knows that.

      Tim will be 38 during the 2026 World Cup. Thiago Silva is 38 and he’s still starting for Chelsea. Pepe started for Portugal in Qatar at 40 years old.

      In 2026 Timmy may not be getting a long-term contract from a club but the World Cup will be at most 7 games not 30 + games. That’s why you often see old guys at the World Cup.

      And even if Timmy starts to expire it is way too early to drop him. As others have pointed out, Copa America is just around the corner and Gregg really needs his very best team or he might get badly humiliated

      Right now the CB pool looks pretty unimpressive to average at best.
      I don’t believe in rewarding players for playing like shit.

      As long as Timmy maintains his level of play he should continue to play because he is an example of adherence to a dying principle.

      The principle that the USMT roster should be composed of our best players.

      The USMNT has no decent ability or facility to “develop” players.
      We shouldn’t be capping players hoping it will help them develop into a better center half. We should be capping players who are already international level CBs or real damn close.

      For example, over the last three years Ferreira has received 23 caps in hopes of developing him into an international level forward. What is Ferreira today? As far as the USMNT is concerned, he is essentially the same guy he was when this started, a promising forward All that work and what you get is a “promising” backup.

      It was a waste of time and resources developing a guy who is currently pretty far down the depth chart and dropping every day. By the time Copa America comes around, who knows what other promising forwards will have emerged?

      You don’t drop someone unless they decline or you have a real good reason to think the replacement will succeed. If Trusty wins a regular place with the Blades and has a dominant season, that’s one possibility. But otherwise right now the CB pool, besides Ream, Walker, JAB and CCV, all of whom are our World Cup veterans, is largely just a bunch of guys.

      Gregg needs to build a new team. One way to do that is play your best players so that you can show all the candidates what Gregg expects. Not Aaron Long or that long list of inconsistent wannabes who Gregg has not really given a chance to make their mark.

      Tim is that dreaded term, a “role model”. Someone to point to and say, that is what I expect.

  6. I think Gregg should have left established European players with their clubs. These games are meaningless and Gregg should use them to evaluate young talent and marginal players. Almost all of our top European based players are settling in with new clubs and we should let them settle in and maximize their chances of getting regular minutes. THAT will benefit the team far more than having them drag their butts back here to play weak international opponents that offer less challenge than the youth teams of their club.

    • there is an argument where if some genuine change in tactics or approach is about to happen, then if he is focused on first choice, they need the drilling in the new ways. and weaker opponents is actually the way to start new ideas. you don’t schedule argentina to test whether they get the new ideas. you schedule the uzbeks and oman. you then make it progressively harder as they get comfort in the system. giving the starters time off then defeats the point. they need it more than the bench.

      now i generally agree with running tryouts now. i think the whole first year should just be trying out and competing for roles. so i generally agree with you. in which case leave some of the non-balogun starters off.

      but to me that presumes emphasizing talent evaluation and openness on tactics. because until i assess what we have i don’t know how to play it all. for some reason i am skeptical GB is that kind of coach. the tail wags the dog. even if the tactics are evolving he has some idea on a whiteboard he will force down their throats. the call sheet reflects a fairly familiar concept, formation, player types.

    • I disagree, and mainly because this is Greg’s first set of games back as manager. If there are tweaks to his style of play, like Greg intimating that the team will be using a 3 back system at some point going forward, along with having a look at some new faces, you want all of your top players there. Additionally, with no wcq over the next 3 years you want your best roster together as much as possible, as well as sprinkling in some youth players with the Olympics and Copa America on the horizon

  7. Given injuries the roster makes sense, it’s fine. The whole thing with Berhalter and Gio is just plain weird and tiresome. A 50 yr old man who has raised kids shouldn’t need a mediator or some kind of grand plan to talk to the player. Pick up the phone, make the call. You’re the coach, you have the power (playing time), you also have the responsibility to make the initial reach out and set the tone. If you want to keep it light, then make it an “initial” convo and keep it short and sweet. But get it done so we don’t have to hear about it as much. I’m ready to talk about the on-field stuff. And quit giving interviews to media outlets that will make your job more difficult.

    • Bro…After what the Reyna’s did??? He should have every expert from every angle brought in so that relationship is repaired. They went for his job through blackmail! Yeah, he better have his i’s dotted adn t’s crossed and then some…so yeah, mediators, lawyers, child psychologists…consult them all….

      • I get that but after all the fallout and after exhaustive and embarrassing investigations for all involved, USSF circled back and gave Berhalter the new contract. Regardless of our opinions on whether that was the right or wrong move, the decision is made. He is the coach. What’s best for the team is to try and put this story to bed so the players can concentrate on the soccer. Only way to put it to bed is to make the call, keep it simple, ask how the rehab is going, anything we do to help, update on the USMNT schedule and plans, maybe a (well deserved) positive comment about the nations league performance. Record it (with everyone’s knowledge) if he must, but I maintain the rest is unnecessary. Then the next time an interviewer asks Berhalter the question, he can say, “we have spoken, it was positive, looking forward to him getting healthy and playing again.” Will that be the absolute end of it? Surely not, but it’s the first step of getting the monkey off the back of the program.

      • M of A, I am not aware of any evidence to suggest Gio had anything to do with the behavior of his parents. Do you know something I don’t?

    • Reyna has been injured and hasn’t played in months. 2 meaningless friendlies against weak teams. No reason for him to be called in.

    • to remind people of a fact i mentioned on the other thread, the team went on without him for 9 months. this isn’t december 22 or january 23. reyna was already re-integrated (both at the end of qatar and during the spring) and got to start as a mid. it is aggrandizing the re-hired coach to act like we are back to zero and he has to rerun some obstacle course. the team kept going in his absence. things happened. players played. some well. some bad. this was my beef with how GB handled the sarachan era, eg, weah sargent miles richards. over several months, reyna got back in and the first unit looked excellent at NL, with musah as 6 and not 8 btw. the coach needs to catch up to where the team is. the player doesn’t need a back to the future time machine.

      that being said, this is all hot air until he is well enough to be on the team and eligible to play. to me the “easy out” here was “we are eager to get him back but unfortunately he’s still hurt, when he gets back we’ll work it out behind the scenes and i feel like discussing it publicly defeats the point of moving past this.” this whole thing feels like a flex or like he wants an excuse still to cut reyna with extreme prejudice. that feels out of whack with the team moved on in his absence.

    • Reyna needs to focus on his recovery from a fractured leg, more so than the NT, but of course too many in the fanbase are so caught up in what Greg isn’t doing, that they can’t see the bigger picture!

  8. at F, pulisic balogun weah are fine. play aaronson as MF, that feels under-rostered with johnny likely out. both aaronson and pepi feel like the HC hasn’t been keeping up with club or country for a good chunk of a year. wright (who scored in qatar)? ferreira (who had a busy summer)? vazquez? green? cowell i am on the fence about The Sloppy but let’s try him with the first choice and see if he creates similar chaos. they need to be a little less predictable. it’s a solid group but it doesn’t feel updated to current events.

    re zendejas i thought he played his way off the team during gold cup, or perhaps even most of the schedule. he had about one good game which becomes more apparent as it recedes in time. but as someone noted he was never really GB’s Guy anyway. kind of like Vazquez and some others went back in witness protection.

    • Wait you criticized Berhalter for being stuck on club form for the last 24 months then criticized him today for not paying attention to his club form. Pepi’s got 4g in his last 4 US matches (in 116 mins).

      • all due respect — and you omit where i say “club and country” — but what i am looking at is wright scored IN THE WORLD CUP, and ferreira started for both teams and has 7 NT GOALS IN HIS LAST 4 GAMES as well as 10 league goals. you then want to point out a competing option with just 4 NT goals — against similar opposition (eg grenada and ES) as the “form” guy despite being buried on PSV’s bench and barely seen.

        at some point the “form” police need to grasp that you can be doing ok and someone is hotter than that. this is how “form” works.

        i also think in xs and os terms we have figured out how wright, vazquez, and ferreira fit in, but less so pepi.

      • Pepi scoring every 30 minutes for NT in 2023 doesn’t imply he is struggling for country though does it. You’re then advocating benching him because he’s stuck behind PSV legend Luke DeJong. Picking Wright because he scored at WC implies you’re using pecking order since Pepi didn’t get a chance at WC. Man you are hitting all your normal complaints just to disagree with everything USSF does.

      • JR: you are straining. i am a long term USMNT performance guy. i have made this clear before. jesus has 15 NT goals. pepi has less than half that. and i personally prefer the way ferreira combines with his teammates, where he has 3 assists as well.

        next time i won’t cynically try and pile on that he appeared not just the better NT player but also the form club player since y’all love club form. i said “country and club.” he has more NT goals this year. he has more club goals this season. you are therefore trying to discuss pepi’s NT efforts in isolation as though ferreira’s own deluge doesn’t exist, or to shift to goals/90.

        i fully realize he has ok G/90 on paper but so far he plays so rarely it’s not adding up to weah-celtic or reyna-dortmund type numbers and clarity. if you have 7 G in 600′ that’s a clear pattern. if you have a goal in 71′ of scattered subs, are you still going to be on that 1 goal after 200 more minutes. re country on your sub-performance theory you’re ignoring quality of opponent, which, to be fair, is more or less a push. i then note who simply has produced more all year. which isn’t close. or who has produced more for a NT career. also not close.

      • IV: I agree 1 g in Pepi’s limited time with PSV isn’t statistically relevant to give it an average. He’s scored a goal every 30 minutes for the US in 2023. I like Ferreira better than most and wouldn’t have been mad if he was on the roster, but Pepi is a better #9. Ferreira better overall player, he can play any of the attacking positions and as an 8 in a pinch. I’d argue that Grenada and ES are tougher opponents than TnT and St Kitts but not drastically so. The Eredivisie is better than MLS, even if some don’t respect it for its low emphasis on defense.

  9. My theory is correct, of Gregg not rating players in Ligue Mex. We won’t be seeing Zandejas anymore anytime soon. His awful GC didn’t help either. Gio coming back from injury just before international window, sorry but it gives off I am not ready to be around Gregg.

    • Gio won’t be back for the October window, he had a fractured leg and is just now starting light training. I wouldn’t start looking for things that aren’t there, but of course many in our fanbase can’t help themselves, and that’s not to say you’re actually doing that, it’s just as a general principle these days lol

  10. at MF, musah and mckennie are fine. conversely, reyna has been out hurt, ditto adams, fine. i am ok with cremaschi for cap tying and to kick the tires. i have made my opinion abundantly clear on LDLT. i have previously said the coach doesn’t seem to study how the games actually go — where is sands? after all, re johnny, he went off hurt the other day. this is not the first time we have called someone a half-diligent fan (much less the NT) should know was hurt, and if he watched the NT games this year johnny was poor. i get we can in theory “make do” with the roster-1 but who does that on purpose when the games are a week-plus away? the point is to have bodies around to try on the field. and if the idea is to play chicken with whether he heals in a few days, this is not how competent NT run their circus, at least outside of the world cup or something. you leave him off just like the other hurt players.

    tessmann would be worth trying. holmes and green had strong starts in their leagues. you could task aaronson as a MF for this set. ledezma is a better player than LDLT.

      • 2tone: i thought the deal was 3 “A” games for kids, 1 for adults, and we could argue about what is an “A.” like that regional tournaments and NL group count, but friendlies we could debate whether january games are “A.” also as we saw with zendejas, short of a one-time switch, there is no reliable final notation that pops up someplace, everyone is uncertain, team A runs him out, tries to tie him, and if team B tries him out also, they do so at the risk of getting dinged like mexico or nicaragua.

        the legalistic analysis also ignores that 80-90% of the battle is probably getting that first game, which may get the job done “morally” regardless what the “rules” say. if we get him capped odds are he stays. the rules might allow him to still switch but few actually do so.

        along those lines one of the things that drives me nuts on GB is encouraging team-shopping. you want for your cap to have a sort of moral force or power. you undermine that by saying “try us both” or talking about it in terms of the rules. talk about it like first call is you’re one of us. then roll with it.

      • no, my understanding is playing at a senior “official competition” (regional, world cup, WCQ) does it by itself. one minute of one game. if you played age group ball you can switch. if you played “A” internationals you get 3 games U-21. over 21 it’s 1 game again.

        “A” international does not equal “official competition.” “A” international is just a first choice senior game. if we pretty obviously field a “B” team eg january you can debate whether that game counts.

        you’re also continuing to ignore that rules aside, getting the player to the first cap is a huge chunk of the battle. for some it may involve a switch that decides it for good. for others it’s a strong encouragement to stay put. now i get GB has lost a few kids he played to switches, and nearly lost zendejas, but i have previously explained and criticized how his weaksauce “try both teams out” passivity encourages this risk. i think a lot of previous US coaches would have demanded a commitment upfront — rewarded with some cap(s) — and would have punished behavior such as when dest discussed considering holland while at our news confab. we have kind of normalized the idea the players can play their little games with us within the rules where before it would have been more like we want you, you want us, commit and let’s be done with it. and i think before this new regime we’d lost one guy — the forgettable tchani — to switching back out.

        i mean, college coaches arguably owe their recruits some ethics and should feel bad over abuses, and do you think they sell the competition or passively say go visit your other options and see if you like them better? not if they want you on that team……

      • IV: “A” level match is any senior team match. January Camps are A matches. There is no debate. It’s in FIFA’s rule book. You could call up the entire 2002 WC team for the Oman friendly and it’s an A level match. You could run out a roster with posters on this message board and it’s an A level match. It does not matter the quality of the players you called if the associations agree to play a senior team match and register the match as such it is an A level match. If Alexi Lalas and Stu Holden say “wow looks like Gregg’s rolling out his C team roster here tonight!” It’s still an A level match. It doesn’t matter.

    • He’s being misused at NYCFC but Ledezma should be no where near the NT the way he’s played this season and I watched way more Jong PSV and PSV preseason matches than I care to admit because I love Richie.

      • this isn’t richy in isolation, it’s is he better or worse than LDLT. ditto green holmes or the others i listed. i also feel like if we see talent or job isn’t to nitpick form, it’s to encourage it to thrive. USMNT used to have some history of capping some key pool guys who needed a platform to sell themselves to new teams that coming window. you can see promise in a player and give an isolated cap as an attempted jump start.

        one of my issues with club form focus is it encourages smart players to game the coach with career choice, or it can reward weaker or less ambitious players in almost perverse fashion. i also feel like it encourages coaches to be lazy and numbers driven and not watch the games and practices closely. to me it’s watch the players and see what their tool kits are. their tools may fit the NT lineup or games better than their club. this was precisely arena’s critique of his mentee, is he wasn’t sure GB watched players close enough, that it seemed decided on analytics or that there was too little performance accountability.

      • Richie is a different case though given he missed 15 months after a significant knee injury. He hasn’t regained that form from 2020. There’s I’m not playing because Lewendowski is in front of me club form and then there’s I’ve got 0g 4a as a 10 in a year in MLS club form. Just like with Mendez there’s I looked good as U20 but now I can’t get on the field for a mid level Portuguese team club form. I want Richie to be good I want him to be a member of the NT, but he’s not ready.

    • IV

      “this is not the first time we have called someone a half-diligent fan (much less the NT) should know was hurt,”

      You’re taking an announcement that is a week or two out way too seriously.

      This is not an announcement for the Oscar nominations. Do you have money on who makes these rosters?

      These things are often pretty flexible.

      Given the variables in the situation, the only roster I take seriously is the one just before the game starts: listing the starters and who is available on the bench and maybe giving the formation.

      Anything else is a form of theater, giving the fans and the oddsmakers yet one more thing to fight over.

      Players can, and do, get hurt at any time during training, in practice, walking to their cars, etc. Spain lost Canizares ,their goalkeeper, after he “accidentally shattered a bottle of aftershave” on his hotel sink. Glass fell on his foot, severing a tendon in his big toe. I don’t know how “true” the story was but he did miss the 2002 World Cup.

      Hell, players get injured in the pre-game warm-up.

      Given that this is a friendly with no other serious competitions imminent for the teams involved, the definition of “injured” gets more generous.
      There is no urgent need to take chances with a player’s health and his career in these games.
      Now if the games were semis or finals or represented a chance to advance in the World Cup or Copa America, then they talk about players playing “through “ injuries.

      Maybe Gregg just needed practice in rostering injured players. There is only so much anyone can take seriously about Gregg.

  11. keeper is likely made awkward by cohen out of contract, seanjohn hurt, and steffen hurt/job shopping. so i will indulge turner and horvath, though i think the latter needs to compete for it. i continue to not get bottom of the league callender over top of the league celentano. you have to scroll past several US keepers to get to callender in a stats list. based on how deric used to outplay willis with bottom-barrel houston teams i do not buy all keepers behind poor defenses are equal. i think a good keeper behind a bad team keeps his numbers down in the 1.3s. willis had a 1.5 behind some of the worst houston defenses i have ever seen. i am unimpressed and the worst part is per standard operating procedure he won’t have to play to prove me wrong.

    • Callender got a lot more of a spotlight on him with Miami then Centano…and he played in some big games with Messi & Co. lately and had some really good showings. He’s got a huge wingspan, he can get down, and he’s quick as a snake for as large as he is…he’s as good as Turner as a shot-stopper or very close. He’s been impressive every time I’ve watched Miami lately.

      I did take a look at Lund on youtube…we may have just stolen one there. Players are never as good as their highlights make them look but Lund looks very technical and very good on the ball, he’s very fast, and he looks like a very physical defender though I’d have to watch him awhile to see if he’s a consistent one. And he did show an ability to drop left-footed crosses in that were quality…again, let’s see if he can do that consistently. Still, you can definitely see why he’s getting a look, anyway.

      • i am open to lund. my issue there was more we called jedi, paredes, and lund, when jedi was the less problematic wingback. lund looked like he had good offensive numbers in sweden — better than jedi’s or dest’s in league play. my concern was how he defends. i’ll see if what you say re physical defense proves true. to me we need some backs who can do their basic job right then worry about offense. to me we go about it backwards — figure out who can defend then among them you can pick the ones you like their attacking abilities as cherry on top.

        re celentano, with numbers like his i start to have consistency concerns like those that drove guzan off the team (or horvath previously) when he was considered the heir apparent. guzan would stand on his head one night then ship 3-4 some other game. but anyhow, we rarely use the 2 keeper so i severely doubt the 3 keeper sees the field. which is my response to “just watch.” when? i consider club play apples and oranges.

  12. at back, ream is old, mckenzie and dest haven’t played well in recent NT games, dest isn’t even playing much in club. the others are worthy calls with the qualifier that jedi was the wingback who looked more worthy of his job this summer, so the numbers look misallocated. i am looking at 3 LB and 2 RB. if we are stacking up wingbacks to challenge someone why isn’t it dest? all he has to worry about is scally.

    • IV: this probably won’t make you happy, but apparently it is unclear if Lund has filed a switch so this may just be a training stint.

  13. And unless he plans to start Malik Tillman at Gio’s spot – unlikely – there is not a single midfielder on the team who can score, create, or operate in tight spaces in the box. Maybe Cardoso…but he was a bigger basket case in the Gold Cup than Zendejas. And Cremaschi has certainly looked pretty good for Inter Miami and playing with Messi gives him a certain cachet…but he looks like another 8 to me, and is he really better than Tanner Tessmann? We’re back to almost pure 6/8 tweeners again who aside from Tillman present absolutely zero scoring threat from field play (McKennie’s dangerous on set-piece headers, I will admit) and not a one of them can hit a shot from distance, whereas Tessmann’s rocket shots can kill an unwary bystander from forty yards out. (Well, I don’t know that about Cremaschi yet. We certainly do know that about the others.)

    Welcome back, Berhalter ball. It was sweet being able to play tight little combos up the middle and create in the final third, if only for a moment.

    (Insert sound of large belch here.)

    Still, other than that glaring omission, it looks like a good group, certainly more than good enough to whump Uzbekistan and Oman…lordy. (Or at least they’d better be!) And some old-time Berhalter favs are notably absent, no need to name names, and that may be progress. Also…anybody know anything about Kristoffer Lund? I’ll be honest, I’d never even heard of him but a 21-year-old left back who plays for Palermo is durn interesting.

    • Cardoso wasn’t in the GC I think you are thinking Sonora. Malick played CM in at least one NT appearance not sure where Gregg will play him this time.

      • Whoops, yup, I did confuse the two. Sonora’s the nifty if erratic dribbler who looks awesome right up to the moment where he banana-peels it three feet in front of the net, Cardoso’s the technical Brazilian guy. I do remember Cardoso being very smooth on the ball, very clean in possession…though if memory serves I seem to recall some defensive busts from him in the past too.

        I also remember Cardoso looked a lot more like an 8 than a 6 or a 10 to me…and we’ve got an absolute glut of 8’s. What we need are defensive mids who can back up or better yet challenge Tyler Adams, and you always need those guys who can change a game as a 10 and I hope Tillmann gets an extended runout to see if he can do that. I’d definitely have liked to have seen Gregg also bring Djorde in with the main group as a 10 or Sands or Tessmann as a 6 since they appear to be at positions of more need. Sands was arguably our best player at the Gold Cup (aside from Turner and maybe Ferreira) and the thing about Sands that would have me really itching to call him up is he can play as both a CB and a 6, which allows you to use him to back up both positions and sneak an extra offensive player onto the roster. This past Gold Cup aside, you rarely see that fourth CB much in a tournament, and Jedi is big and stout and physical enough you could slide him inside in a pinch as well.

        To me that’s just a whole lot more useful than yet another 8.

        Sigh. Berhalter Ball. It persists. Endlessly.

    • So glad Yedlin is not on the roster, their was a rumor he would be included. I always viewed him as overrated even when he played in the EPL.

    • “And Cremaschi has certainly looked pretty good for Inter Miami and playing with Messi gives him a certain cachet…”

      Cachet? If Inter Miami had signed Pulisic instead of Messi would Cremaschi look so good?

      I’ll bet Messi makes a lot of players look better than they are. He certainly pulled Miami together pretty damn quick. I don’t think we have anyone as good as Messi at doing that kind of thing.

      Or maybe, he inspires players to play up to their potential.

      We’ll see but right now all I hear from Gregg is how relentless and hard working the kid is and how he runs all day. What about his soccer skills Gregg? Can he play soccer? Or is that not important to you? Is he the new Jonathan Lewis, all speed but no game? I thought Ariolla had the run all day part covered.

  14. Good looking roster….Don’t know how there could be any complaints with this roster, although some people hate Greg so much that I’m sure they’ll find something to gripe about lol

    • I don’t hate Gregg; I don’t think he is a very good national team coach though. I don’t think Cowell deserved a callup after his performances in U20 and Gold Cup. I don’t follow close enough to say who is more deserving but I am certain there are several people. He is being called in based on potential and I understand that but IMO players are developed at the club level so there is really no benefit to bringing him in. That is my non-Gregg hating complaint. The rest of the roster seems reasonable to me.

    • “Good looking roster….Don’t know how there could be any complaints with this roster, although some people hate Greg so much that I’m sure they’ll find something to gripe about lol”


      If some people hate Gregg so much it stands to reason that there much be some people who love Gregg so much.

      If so then why don’t they defend Gregg more?

      The posts who defend Gregg don’t defend him. They attack his attackers for the constant negativity, which everyone is tired of. That’s called misplacing the anger.
      The anger belongs with the root of all this negativity, Gregg Berhalter.

      Y’all always talk about how tough the job is, how unlucky Gregg has been with injuries, how the player pool is not as good as advertised, how the evil media screwed Gregg by publishing quotes that were “supposed to be” off the record.

      whine, whine, whine, whine.

      That defense amounts to we should feel bad for poor baby Gregg because being USMNT manager is so hard and people are so unfair.

      I don’t read stuff about how Gregg the best possible manager for this program going forward, how having him as manager fills you with pride knowing that our players are in the best hands possible.
      I don’t read how impressed everyone is with his tactical nous and his insightful grasp of the nuances of the game and the intricacies of roster construction and team building..
      I don’t read about how happy we are that Gregg is the manager. And by “we” I mean anyone.
      I don’t see fans dressed like Gregg standing on the sidelines trying to emulate his game time moves.

      There may be people who feel that way but I don’t see them or hear from them. He may be the most admired and beloved USMNT manager ever but I don’t get that feeling when I scan the media. Instead, it feels like most of the media are going with the flow and accepting that we’re stuck with Gregg so they pivot onto other things.

      Gregg did a decent job getting us to Qatar.

      I say decent because it’s a great accomplishment regardless of anything. But I also believe just about any number of available managers could have gotten this team third and maybe second or first place in this Octagon. This is called damning with faint praise.

      It was an uneven performance. On the one hand I thought the players gave everything they had and performed admirably but I felt Gregg did just enough to squeak by. By that I’m referring to how Gregg shaped the roster leading up to Qatar, and how he molded the team. He did just enough to get us qualified but left us with the overwhelming feeling that he left a lot of money on the table so to speak.

      Everyone is tired of the non-stop criticism Gregg gets but he’s earned a lot of it and it’s up to him to shut everyone up.

      His re-emergence in the Vanity Fair interview is a mediocre start to his second reign, but it is a characteristic one because if there is anything Gregg stands for, it is mediocrity.

      Our manager after all is just a guy.


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